Happy Recovery Movie Matinee Day Sober People!
It’s winter and the weather makes it a lot less fun to be outside. The good news? That just means more time to curl up with a blanket and watch movies! Here are a few of our favorite recovery-themed, inspirational movies.
Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine are brilliant, funny and a little heart-wrenching in this adaptation of Carrie Fisher’s memoir about addiction and recovery. A beautiful portrayal of mother-daughter relationships, life in early sobriety and the gritty reality of life in Hollywood. Equal parts funny, real AF and true delight: this is one of our all-time-favorites.
Full disclosure: this adaption of the Jim Carroll book of the same name takes some liberties with its source material. In some ways, Carroll glamorized his years of drug use and low-bottom-living. The result is a movie that is both chilling and beautiful about a young athlete who descends into heroin addiction. The combination of Carroll’s prose (woven deftly into the screenplay) and a baby-faced DiCaprio is sheer genius and well worth a watch. Bonus points for a young Mark Walhberg fresh off his stint with the Funky Bunch.
Will Ferrell brings a darker, more dry humor to a movie about a man hitting bottom. Billed as a comedy this movie is more of a drama with some well-earned laughs woven in to keep the mood from getting too dark. Poignant, lovely and chock full of reminders of what it’s like to reach the jumping off point: this film will ultimately leave you with a heavy dose of gratitude and newfound respect for Ferrell’s drama chops.
Michael Keaton brings heart and humor to his portrayal of a successful businessman whose world crumbles due to cocaine addiction. In an attempt to escape some legal and professional consequences Keaton checks in to rehab. Come for the 80-era, vintage Keaton, stay for the honest and inspiring look at life clear and sober.
Not to be confused with the equally good, but vastly different 28 Days LATER…this is old school Sandra Bullock doing what she does best. Bullock brings her charm and authenticity to the role of a hard-working, hard-partying professional who checks into rehab after ruining her sister’s wedding. Kudos to this movie for avoiding the grim stereotypes of rehab to portray it more like what it is: a complex experience filled with life changing people and ideas. This is OG Bullock at her clear-eyed, plucky best.
Welcome back Sober People. Whether this is your “Sunday” (back to work tomorrow) or just another day ending in “Y” we will be sharing our favorite inspo for making the most of your downtime.
This week we are looking at the importance of morning rituals. Work days can be a blur starting from the moment you wake up all the way until your head hits the pillow at night. Days off are a good time to practice small, but deeply restorative acts that you don’t always have time for. What we do within the first few minutes of awakening can impact the rest of our day. Try any or all of these little practices to see how they feel!
Stretch: Arms above your head, head up, back straight but keeping all the joints soft (no locking the arms or straining.) If you like how that feels, consider trying some gentle yoga poses to awaken the body, get the chi flowing and transition the mind from slumber to wakefulness.
Make a gratitude list: write em’ out or say them aloud. Say hello to the world and greet your day with a few words of thanks before your feet even hit the floor.
Linger in your tranquil space: Brew some coffee or tea and get back under those covers! Or take a moment to pick out the clothes you will wear.
Get Grounded: Make the bed and straighten the books on the nightstand. Set out your clothes for the day or just gather anything dirty and put it into the laundry basket. Setting your room in order has a magical way of making you feel more centered as you start your day. Plus Sundays are laundry days so might as well get those socks and such into the basket anyway!
Russell Brand is a bit of a braggart, a talented comedian and an outspoken figure on the topic of recovery from addiction. With 14 years of sobriety and a real knack for storytelling, Russell’s new book is a spellbinding read with some legit nuggets of truth about getting and staying sober.
For more enticing description of Brand and his new book, check out this glowing review from the NYTimes.
Happy reading sober people!
Chilly weather, rain and darker days make us dream of steaming mugs of hot chocolate, warm, golden tea and bright, bold cups of coffee. Time to get your festive fall nonalcoholic drink on y’all! Here are some of our favorite recipes for this time of year:
Hot Chocolate (traditional): Treat yo’self and go all in on this delectable treat — you won’t regret it. Say YES to the real milk, use either semi-sweet or dark chocolate and a splash of cinamon for best results.
Golden Milk Turmeric Tea: This blend of savory spice and anti-inflammatory root elements will soothe any cough or cold, jump start the body first thing in the morning and is sure to grow on you. Healthy, invigorating and wholesome we recommend brewing it in big batches and drinking liberally through cough and cold season.
Cashew Milk Nightcap: This technique qill work as well for almonds and hazelnuts as it does with cashews. Each of these nuts has its own pros: almonds pack protein, hazelnuts have vitamin B and E and cashews are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin E. Use this recipe to make your milk and then try warming it up on the stove top and whisking it into a froth for a soothing, pre-sleep nightcap.
Spiced Cider: Rich, warm and full-bodied this drink has the dual benefits of being delicious and making your kitchen smell AMAZING. Can be done on the stove or in a crock pot.
London Fog: Fragrant, soothing Earl Grey tea meets creamy, steamy milk with some sweet vanilla for fun.
Happy Fall Sober People!
Whether you welcome fall or mourn the end of summer this time of year can be tough. Shorter days, less sunshine and more time spent indoors can reduce energy levels and negatively impact mood. Which is what makes this the perfect time to recommit to a healthy activity routine. This isn’t about a beach body or losing weight: this is about committing to move your body a little every day because it’s really good for your mental health, your daily living and your recovery. Think of it as pumpkin spice for the soul.
Exercise and Sobriety
It’s scientific. One recent study on mental health and exercise found that regular, moderate-intensity exercise helped reduce cravings, improved overall mood and could serve as a useful coping strategy. There is also a strong correlation between the behavior modification recommended for people in early sobriety and the physical and mental changes that happen with regular exercises. In other words: exercise can change a person’s metabolism, fight stress and prime the mind for more learning.
Killing Time, Sleeping Soundly
Regular, moderate-to-high intensity workouts also have a documented impact on sleep. Studies have shown 15-30 minutes of exercise daily helps regulate natural processes in the body, including the production on melatonin. Exercise is also a great way to fill time — which people new in sobriety often find they have a lot of!
Where to Start
There is always the gym. Whether you have a membership collecting dust or have never joined a gym in your entire life: these can be social places where you’ll find many options for group classes or a variety of machines to try. We recommend starting with a gym that is located somewhere close to work or home and provides a comfortable atmosphere. There are some big chains to choose from and there are also smaller, more boutique gyms that provide one-on-one training and a much smaller, intimate workout space.
You name it, there’s a workout for it. Want to pretend you’re a ballerina? Try Barre. Want a little of the flow of yoga+ the strength training of pilates? Piyo has got you covered. Want a little of everything? There are multiple providers such as DailyBurn that feature lots of programs for a monthly subscription.
There’s an App for That
There are a lot of great workout apps that you can have with you at all times. From virtual running coaches for those looking to tackle a marathon in the spring to those looking to get in a little yoga every day — there’s a lot to choose from. This can be ideal as sometimes you just need to shut the door and punch up a 14 minute “Yoga for Relaxation” routine.
Just remember as the days grow shorter and the couch/Netflix beckons that your body and mind need to be extra-nurtured.
September is National Recovery Month and the theme this year is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.” The active word in this being JOIN. That can mean signing up for service work, joining a volunteer group or simply putting out your hand and offering to share some experience, strength and hope.
One of the things we have learned working in recovery is that it’s a WE program. The individual who comes in for help brings with them a family — a spouse or parent, children and friends — who have also been impacted by the disease of addiction. We work with the individual who suffers AND the friends and family. There is healing to be done, behaviors and ideas to examine and lots of tools to practice using going forward.
Throughout the month we’ll be sharing some of these stories and tools but for starters, here are some real life tales of recovery that include multiple perspectives on the recovery process from our podcast series: Voices of Recovery.
We’ll be starting work on season 2 this month and if you would like to share your story please contact us at email@example.com.